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Wednesday, 23 April 2008
The Safe House
Mood:  a-ok

Our member Jonathan has kindly offered to initiate a new group-support and counselling service to those who are experiencing transition from one religion/faith to another, or having doubts of their own religion/faith.

The new service is called the Safe House and its Chinese blog is here: http://hk.myblogs.yahoo.com/sss_safehouse


Posted by ssshk at 3:49 PM JST
Updated: Wednesday, 23 April 2008 4:24 PM JST
Tuesday, 12 June 2007
From Christianity to SSS: my journey of faith

I have written an article in Chinese to share my journey of faith from evangelical Christianity to the Spiritual Seekers Society.

It has been published in the Chinese newsletter of the Hong Kong Women Christian Council. This entry in our SSS forum contains a link to that newsletter. My article is in the 2007-05-04 issue.


Posted by ssshk at 2:44 PM JST
Updated: Wednesday, 23 April 2008 3:12 PM JST
Tuesday, 13 March 2007
I spoke before Legco
Mood:  energetic

I spoke at a Panel meeting of the Legco (Legislative Council, sort of parliament of Hong Kong) on 12 March 2007.  The incidence that meeting addressed went like this.  The public radio/TV service of Hong Kong known as Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) broadcasted a gay-friendly TV documentary about half years ago.  It attracted some complaints, many of which probably came from the Christian Right, to the Broadcasting Authority (BA) and subsequently the Authority ruled that RTHK was biased in the presentation because the interviewed gay couples expressed their wish for same-sex marraige but the opinion against same-sex marriage was not included.  That ruling raised great concern among human rights organisations for its frank discrimination against homosexuals.  The Legco Panel on Information Technology and Broadcasting decided to hold a meeting to discuss this issue and invited organisations and individuals to submit written papers and to present their views in person.  So the vice-president of the Spiritual Seekers Society (SSS), who is also a volunteer working for the Amnesty International (AI), drafted a paper to support RTHK and asked me to edit and send it to Legco.  The Panel then invited two representatives from SSS, among other some 30 organisations, to attend and speak on the 12 March meeting.  I wrote an invitation to all SSS members to see if they can be representatives but nobody showed interest.  So I must attend myself, with the support from my wife Flora by sitting next to me at the meeting. 

I haven't thought of the opportunity to speak before the law-making authority, though the speech will be limited to a mere 2 minutes.  I was so nervous that I did not sleep well the night before; I always hate speech or leading anything or being the focus in a group of people.  I have to do it anyway; the seats for SSS cannot be vacant.  The meeting starts at 1 pm and the time allocated to each organisation is just 2 minutes, so in the morning I wrote a short draft in Chinese (the long paper sent to Legco cannot be squeezed into 2 minutes).  The place is the highest law-making authority of HK, so I wore a suite.  I seldom wear a suite, only arriving at Legco that I found few delegates wore suites, which made me look a bit out-dated.  I and Flora arrived at the Legco building at 12:45pm as instructed.  The building was opened in 1912. The two-storey granite building is neo-classical in style supported by Ionic columns.  We circled around the Legco building to find the entrance.  The outside of the building was familiar to us but we have never thought of the need to walk throught its entrance one day.  "Entrance for staff"..."Entrance for members (legislators)"...finally we found the "Entrance for public." 

 A lady at the counter greeted us with a friendly smile and asked for our names and organisation identity.  She scanned her list for a while.  Frustrated, she asked us to look up our own names on her list as there were too many delegates attending.  There are security guards here and there inside the building.  The interior is fully paved with thick and soft red carpet.  Many fixatures are in gold colour.  We were led to a waiting room where I met many familiar faces of various gay-rights and progressive Christian groups.  A sitting plan was provided for us to find our seats with ease.  Thick background documents were provided.  Everything were so well-planned. 

Eventually, I entered the grand chamber which I used to be able to see only through the TV.  I sat on the seat of the banker Li Kwok-po.  I knew it because there is a name label on every legislator's seat.  To my left was the seat of democrat Martin Lee, now being occupied by an AI delegate, to her left was another AI delegate who is also our SSS vice-president.  Each seat is well equipped with a straw-coloured leather chair which can be slided forward and backward but cannot be moved in other directions, a wooden bench which is covered with matching straw-coloured leather, a clip-microphone, and a ear-piece for listening to the interpreter.  Even the lid of the glass of water provided and the glass holder are gold in colour.  My wife was on my right, on the seat of Cheng Jing-han, the famous radio phone show anchor who later entered Legco via direct election.  Cheng Jing-han was the chairman of that Panel.  Legislators present were Emily Lau, Chan Wai-yip, and Tong Ka-wah, all democrats, all are against BA's ruling. 

 I noticed two SSS members observing from the public section, which was a great support for me.  I was the third speaker, right after the AI speaker, our SSS vice-president.  I am a slow-thinker and my presentation skill is just terrible, so I only knew how to read out my draft word by word.  I was impressed by the many good presentations by delegates of other organisations.  Among the some 30 groups and individuals, only 3 groups and 2 individuals supported BA's ruling, all of them from the Christian Right; they probably felt a bit lonely.  The most impressive are the incisive comments made by the legislaters.  They made their points very clearly, and were always up to the point, piercing into the heart of the issue.  Finally, Emily Lau's motion, which called for reversal of BA's ruling, was successfully passed.  Although that motion has no binding power on BA, it must be a great encouragement to the RTHK staff, and other media workers.  We are all pleased (except that 5 BA fans).  How do I know that I am doing the right thing to support gay rights?  Simple, we UUs stand on the side of love!

When I returned home, I found somebody had already posted the link of Legco recordings to the Liberal Christian Forum here and praised the speech of SSS for clarity.  That was a great encouragement.  The SSS vice-president called me up later to say how excited she was.  Me too.  That was my first speech before the "parliament" of Hong Kong. 

Alex

(The speech of SSS can be found in SSS Forum)


Posted by ssshk at 12:01 AM JST
Updated: Wednesday, 23 April 2008 3:16 PM JST
Thursday, 6 July 2006
Broadcasting in Web Radio
Mood:  irritated

Attended The People's Radio Hong Kong, a web radio (www.prhk.org), last evening (July 5th) with Medeleine to talk about Spiritual Seekers Society and Unitarian Universalism.  This is my first appearance on a radio show and I was very nervous (I have always been nervous when giving open talks).   Fortunately, it went smoothly under guidance by the professional hosts and the valuable help from fluent Medeleine. 

Update: The People's Radio of Hong Kong is now closed down.  The schedule of the religious program can still be found here but program recordings were probably lost.


Posted by ssshk at 11:08 AM JST
Updated: Wednesday, 23 April 2008 3:20 PM JST
Friday, 19 May 2006
Da Vinci Code opens today
Mood:  bright
The novel Da Vinci Code is remarkably ingenious. I have read it and enjoyed a lot. It is a fiction and evidences for Jesus having a daughter are not very convincing. There are other arguments, however, suggesting that Jesus might have married before becoming a wandering rabbi. It is because the status of a Jewish rabbi comes from his marital status itself. In other words, if you have not married, you cannot become a rabbi simply because nobody trust you. Although The Da Vinci Code is a fiction, it brings out a truth about the Bible and the religion Christianity---biblical writers and early Church fathers suppressed some history and created some others to embellish Jesus in order to build up his divinity, so much so that he eventually became God! So I would say the core message of The Da Vinci Code is true---Christianity is built, at least partially, on lies.

Posted by ssshk at 2:48 AM JST
Updated: Friday, 19 May 2006 2:52 AM JST
Monday, 15 May 2006
Humanistic Religious Naturalism Group
Mood:  happy
A member of the Spiritual Seekers Society describes himself as a Naturalist. An article in UUWorld introduced Humanistic Religious Naturalism, the article is discussed here. I wish that he can start a Humanistic Religious Naturalists Group and he expressed interest too! I am very excited to look forward for it.

Posted by ssshk at 8:05 PM JST
Updated: Wednesday, 1 April 2009 11:58 AM JST
Sunday, 14 May 2006
Islamic Course
Mood:  hug me
I have, with my wife, attended an eight-session Islamic course organised by the Islamic Union of Hong Kong, Wan Chai. A good course presenting the essential basics of Islam clearly. I affirm that the God of Islam (Allah) is the same as the Christian God, because Allah is the God of Abraham and Moses. In my opinion, however, there are some obsolete practices such as the dressing code for women (head covered), the eating rules (no pork), and worshipping God five times daily which are quite dogmatic. For example, I think that an elegant suit is no less decent that having the head covered, and worshipping 2 or 3 times daily seems no less pious.

Posted by ssshk at 4:54 AM JST
Thursday, 12 January 2006
Wish-list for Our Future Activities
Mood:  bright
Activites are, afterall, the "meat" of our Society. The following activities came up my mind. You may add more. Participating in worships of various denominations such as Anglican, Catholic, and Orthodox. Visit places of different religions including Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, Muslim, etc. Invite leaders of the above denominations and religions to teach us basics of their denominations and religions; or joining together introductory classes organized by those religions. Introductory courses to Unitarian Universalism, the basis on which we build our religious community. Talks on religious liberalism given by liberal theologians and researchers of religion. Meditations and retreats. Certainly eating together from time to time and out-door activities such as ball games and hiking.

Posted by ssshk at 6:51 PM WST
Updated: Monday, 28 August 2006 6:03 PM JST
Thursday, 29 December 2005
Our work ahead!
Mood:  sharp
Several Chinese translations for the name Unitarian Universalism have been suggested in the Hong Kong Liberal Christian Forum here, the forum recommended by our Progressive Christian Fellowship. Among the best are "?I?I??" (a phonic translation of "UU" and gives Taiwan (and all Chinese) readers a sense of relaxation, tenderness, and kindness, which are what UU's inclusiveness and tolerance for. On par with that is the "?????@??????". I consider the third choice being "???R?@???{??/????". (edit: oops! Chinese cannot be shown, please refer to the link above)

I have also copied my previous work schedule here to remind myself of the work finsihed and unfinished:

"What we need to do is to translate essential UU materials (thank you, Clement, for translating the UU Christian Fellowship FAQ), creat a website, and make ourselves known through pamphlets, exposures on web radios, organising activities in post-secondary schools, etc."

Please suggest more!

I'm also thinking of adding "Form 3 to Form 4 Mission." An introspection of my own spiritual journey reveals that I was captured by evangelical Protestant Christianity because somebody bothered to find me while I was in Form 4. That is is a period when young souls start to explore the world. While Form 2 is too young and Form 5 busy preparing for an open examination, reaching out to Form 3 and Form 4 is an essential way to fulfill our mission of encoraging religious exploration!

Please note that I have translated majority of the introduction to UU by Wikipedia, work is still ongoing, I hope to finish it by tonight. Please take a look by clicking the tab "UU Resources in Chinese" and then "Wikipedia." Don't forget to leave your comment in our guestbook (English only) or Forum (both English and Chinese)!

Now we have a temp website at Tripod here (wish to move to independent domain name later), translation work on the way, after which printing of Chinese pamphlets can go ahead. Let's don't forget to record web radio programmes later and then start our promotional work in schools.

Posted by ssshk at 12:47 PM WST
Updated: Wednesday, 23 April 2008 3:33 PM JST
Monday, 26 December 2005
Welcome!
Mood:  happy
Topic: Welcome!
Welcome to Spiritual Seekers Society!

Posted by ssshk at 9:36 PM WST

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